2013 Helena Cultural Legacy Award for Artistic Visionary
Beulah Strickler is a distinguished musician and teacher of piano and harpsichord, who made it her mission to make chamber music accessible to as many people as possible. She founded and performed with the Liberty Consort, which specialized in historical American music and made its debut in 1976, and the Renaissance Players, an early music group which gave concerts at such venues as the Getty Museum and the Huntington Library. Both ensembles also performed for thousands of elementary and high school students in Orange County.
Her most enduring legacy, however, is Fullerton Friends of Music, the oldest chamber music society in Southern California. She founded the organization in 1959, and remained its Artistic Director until 2002, when she passed the reins to her carefully chosen successor. Fullerton Friends of Music presents world-class chamber music concerts that are open to the public and free of charge. Its reputation with musicians has grown both nationally and internationally, and many have remarked on both the superb acoustics of its venue, and its knowledgeable and enthusiastic audiences. The first two ensembles that performed in its six-concert 2012-2013 series were both nominated for Grammy Awards. That Fullerton Friends of Music continues in its mission after fifty-four years is due in large part to Beulah's energetic leadership and uncompromising vision.
Beulah Strickler, now 95, has received many honors and awards over the years, including the YWCA's Silver Medallion in the Creative Arts category, two community service awards from the Music Teachers Association of California, and commendations from the Orange County Centennial Committee and the Fullerton City Council. There is even a street in Fullerton, Strickler Drive, named for her. In 1999, she was named a Sterling Patron by the international professional music fraternity Mu Phi Epsilon, joining such luminaries as Dave Brubeck and Carl St. Clair.
Beulah Strickler was nominated by Fullerton Friends of Music.